Monday, September 22, 2008
REP. JOHN MICA COULD TALK A STARVING DOG OFF A MEAT WAGON, WHILE SAYING NOTHING -- IT'S OUR MONEY!
[Congressional Record: September 28, 2004 (House)]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
COMMENDING RESILIENCY OF PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA AND WORK OF
INDIVIDUALS WHO ASSISTED WITH RECOVERY EFFORTS AFTER HURRICANES
CHARLEY, FRANCES, AND IVAN
Mr. MICA. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and agree to the
resolution (H. Res. 784) commending the resiliency of the people of the
State of Florida and the work of those individuals who have assisted
with the recovery efforts after the devastation caused by Hurricanes
Charley, Frances, and Ivan, as amended.
The Clerk read as follows:
H. Res. 784
Whereas on August 13, 2004, Hurricane Charley reached
landfall and blasted the southwest region of the State of
Florida with 145 mile per hour winds and 10-foot storm
Whereas on September 4, 2004, Hurricane Frances reached
landfall and battered the east coast and central region of
Florida with 105 mile per hour winds and up to 17 inches of
Whereas on September 16, 2004, Hurricane Ivan reached
landfall and devastated the panhandle region of Florida with
130 mile per hour winds and estimated 16-foot storm surges;
Whereas on September 26, 2004, Hurricane Jeanne reached
landfall and struck the east coast of Florida with 120 mile
per hour winds;
Whereas in Florida, 27 people lost their lives due to
Hurricane Charley, 30 people lost their lives from the
devastation caused by Hurricane Frances, 21 people lost their
lives from the destruction of Hurricane Ivan, and 6 people
lost their lives as a result of Hurricane Jeanne;
Whereas tens of thousands of homes and businesses were
damaged or destroyed by the four hurricanes;
Whereas insured property losses from Hurricane Charley are
estimated at almost $7,000,000,000, losses from Hurricane
Frances are estimated at up to $4,000,000,000, and losses
from Hurricane Ivan are estimated at up to $10,000,000,000;
Whereas more than 20,000 farms were in the path of
Hurricane Frances, resulting in more than $2,000,000,000 in
damage to the Florida agriculture community;
Whereas the travel and tourism industry in Florida faces
billions of dollars in lost revenue;
Whereas power outages caused by the hurricanes have
affected more than 6,000,000 people;
Whereas Florida Governor Jeb Bush took immediate action by
declaring a major disaster for the entire State of Florida
and deploying necessary resources to deal with this crisis;
Whereas the Florida Division of Emergency Management
officials did an outstanding job coordinating efforts among
Federal, State, and local entities;
Whereas Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland
Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response, responded
quickly to each of the disasters;
Whereas the Federal Emergency Management Agency has more
than 2,700 agency workers helping with recovery efforts;
Whereas State, local, and municipal elected officials in
Florida diligently voiced the concerns and needs of their
Whereas State and local police officers, firefighters, and
first responders went above and beyond the call of duty in
responding to the four hurricanes;
Whereas Florida Emergency Operations Center personnel
worked tirelessly to direct relief efforts;
Whereas the National Guard was quick to mobilize more than
4,100 troops to help in the relief effort;
Whereas doctors, nurses, and medical personnel worked
expeditiously to ensure that hospitals and medical centers
continued providing necessary care to their communities;
Whereas the American Red Cross and other volunteer
organizations and charities are supplying hurricane victims
with food, water, and shelter;
Whereas utility companies have worked around-the-clock
shifts to restore electric, phone, cable, and water service
to damaged areas;
Whereas the Army Corps of Engineers has worked to reinforce
thousands of homes with roof damage;
Whereas the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
did an extraordinary job providing accurate forecasts of
these four devastating storms; and
Whereas thousands of volunteers from across the country
have donated their time and resources to help with recovery
efforts: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the House of Representatives commends the
resiliency of the people of the State of Florida and the work
of those individuals who have assisted with the recovery
efforts after the devastation caused by Hurricanes Charley,
Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from
Florida (Mr. Mica) and the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Davis) each
will control 20 minutes.
The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Mica).
Mr. MICA. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may
have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks
and include extraneous material on the resolution under consideration.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the
gentleman from Florida?
There was no objection.
Mr. MICA. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Speaker, the people of the great State of Florida, as we all have
seen during the past days, have endured one of the deadliest and most
overwhelming hurricane seasons in history. This past weekend, Hurricane
Jeanne ravaged Florida's Atlantic coast and became the fourth storm to
hammer my State in 6 weeks. For the fourth time, thousands of
Floridians were forced into shelters to outlast another powerful
hurricane. They lost power, they lost possessions, and they emerged to
salvage a few belongings from their damaged homes.
Those Floridians stood in lines waiting for meals, ice; and now they
have begun the difficult task to repair their damaged or destroyed
homes, to save and put together, find their belongings, all while
tolerating Florida's most difficult heat.
But worse than all these inconveniences the storms brought,
unfortunately, many Floridians again learned that another storm had
taken some of their family, some of their friends, and some of their
neighbors. We extend our deepest sympathy to all those who lost their
loved ones in these natural tragedies.
The chronology of the Sunshine State's August and September goes like
this, and it is an unbelievable scenario: first, Hurricane Charley
pounded Florida's southwest coast with nearly 150-mile-an-hour winds on
Friday, August 13. It caused approximately some $7 billion in damage.
Then on September 4, Hurricane Frances punished practically the
entire State as it moved in a very slow fashion across the entire
peninsula during Labor Day weekend. Property damage from Frances is
estimated to cost some $4 billion.
Still reeling from the first two storms, Hurricane Ivan, nicknamed
Ivan the Terrible, blasted Alabama and Florida's panhandle on Thursday,
Ivan left behind an astonishing $10 billion worth of damage and cost
for residents to sustain.
Finally, and almost unbelievably, we had one final natural disaster
this past weekend. Hurricane Jeanne claimed 6 lives and devastated huge
parts of central Florida on Sunday. I am sure many people watched it as
it followed the track of a previous hurricane. In Daytona Beach, an
area that I represent, the storm washed out sea walls, destroyed beach
ramps and scattered tons of debris everywhere. Of course, hard hit were
the areas in Martin County and Stuart. Jeanne will cost affected
communities another estimated $10 billion, and it knocked out power to
more than 2 million residents.
Amazingly, all four of these storms rank in the top ten most
expensive hurricanes in American history. But these statistics of
losses, while devastating for many families, businesses, farms, the
tourism industry, our Florida workforce and others, are ultimately just
numbers. The real tragedy of these storms is that they have killed some
79 people in Florida alone, not to mention the 1,500 estimated deaths
in Haiti. Jeanne's fury killed six Floridians just this past weekend.
These four storms constitute an absolute major tragedy, and our most
sincere thoughts and our prayers remain with the individuals and
families of those affected by the hurricanes.
Mr. Speaker, the people of Florida have been through an exhausting
month and a half. But amid the tragedy and loss, Floridians have
responded with an absolute awe-inspiring support and resistance. Relief
efforts have been massive. State officials have reported that relief
workers and emergency responders have distributed more than 16 million
meals, 9 million gallons of water and 60 million pounds of ice over the
past 6 weeks. Everyone, and I do say everyone, from the Federal level,
the State level and the local level, FEMA, the Florida Emergency
Management Division, the National Guard, the American Red Cross, the
Army Corps of Engineers and so many other government agencies, private
groups and countless individuals have pitched in when residents needed
help. Neighbors helped neighbors, hundreds of thousands of acts of
kindness and help. The work continues as we speak. But this resolution
tonight praises the help of all these selfless people.
Mr. Speaker, it has been an exhausting end to the summer in Florida.
Residents are tired and weary but are certainly not defeated. I commend
tonight all Floridians in the wake of these four terrible hurricanes. I
also want to take this opportunity to thank my good friend from Florida
(Mr. Foley), whose district was hard hit, for offering House Resolution
784 on behalf of all of the Florida delegation.
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.